Monday, September 4, 2017

Growing Grace Is Hard

I was watching some friends' wedding video from earlier this year and couldn't keep the tears from falling a bit.  It was a beautiful venue and such a sweet reminder of our own wedding almost 11 years ago.  The excitement just starting out in your marriage is just one of the coolest things.  I wish so badly to tell my younger self a few things to save us from a few extra unnecessary fights.  I love my kids, but I can't deny the tiny longing to live that newlywed time over again - to do it better.  I think the perfectionist in me longs to keep the beautiful beginning to the marriage just as it is - beautiful and perfect.  We don't want the marriage to be stained by things like loss, fear, dishonesty, emergencies, weight gain, tempers, money problems, etc.  I just want that long, relaxed walk down the aisle to towards this guy who shared his heart with me.

Of course, that is the trouble with us perfectionists.  We have a hard time being glad and thankful in the imperfect moments.  The "life is about the journey" way of thinking is often lost on us.  Journey or not, things aren't the way we want them (aka RIGHT) so we're not yet pleased.  I had a baby in April followed by several large stress events in my life.  My body is extremely sensitive to stress, not getting enough sleep and change (so why did I have kids again? ha!) and the past month I've been working hard at solidifying a routine for school and housekeeping, despite having a 4 month old who hasn't mastered sleeping through the night yet.  My hormones have taken the long way to evening out, the battle between sleep and exercise isn't funny anymore, the extra weight is still hanging around and this introvert is finding it a lot harder with 3 kids to find true alone time than I expected.  Enjoying the journey feels like a joke or near impossible some days when the first bit of alone time I get (which still includes the baby of course) and before the rest of the family is even off of the property, my little race car dumps a bowl of (delicious!) homemade granola. While I'm cleaning that up he also manages to dump my water bottle on the ground too.

Sooo, whether it is enjoy the journey or enjoy them while they are little talk, my point is that it's way harder than a meme on facebook pretends it is.  Some moments it is pride that tells me I want to do everything or other times it is perfectionism that convinces me to be miserable until all the things are just right.  Neither of which are ever satisfied.  I don't have to rely on a ringer washer for clean clothes, my family's bellies are full at night, I have three of the most beautiful children (not that I'm biased) and I get to climb into bed at night with a handsome guy who just happens to be my best friend.  Despite the huge blessings we have in our life, sometimes it doesn't matter (the way it should) in the heat of the day.  Life is messy, heartbreaking and just hard.  There's always someone who has it worse, but there's also always somebody who seems to be doing it better that is hard to ignore.

One thing I really lacked as a newlywed - and still struggle with on a daily basis - is grace.  Grace for my husband, grace for my circumstances, grace for others opinions, and even grace for myself.  My passion and pride typically take me to one extreme or another, thus the name of this blog was born.  Sometimes balance is another word for the appropriate amount of grace.  Not overlooking sin, but not stamping out hope either.  The struggles of the middle parts of life seems to be where grace is being grown, if we'll let it.  It's so easy to judge others and congratulate yourself for doing it better (especially when you haven't yet).  Having kids certainly punches you in the gut some days.  But it seems to be for good reason.  Growing grace is hard.

Most everything feels better in the morning so maybe a good night's sleep is all you need to stay on the brighter side of things.  Or maybe you just need to write it down like I do to get the weight of it all off your shoulders.  Whatever you need to do, just be sure and do it.  And know that you're not alone. :)

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